Choose Subject:

IB English / English Literature


The International Baccalaureate English A divides into 3 courses: English Literature; Language and Literature; Literature and Performance. In most cases, schools opt for the first two courses, as they are more closely aligned with the curriculums in both pre and post IB English. English Language B is designed for non-native and non-fluent English speakers. Although most ESF schools in Hong Kong do not offer IB English B, it is offered by many IB-stream local schools.

The courses are divided into Standard Level and Higher Levels of study. Students wishing to continue their English studies into University are recommended to take the HL course, as it better prepares students for the depth of enquiry expected at degree level.

Content & Assessment

The courses contain presentational components that will be based on the close study of literature (IOC and IOP)[1]. The literature can be either prose, poetry or drama, but teachers will usually select texts that have overlapping elements with respect to theme, context or application. Both the Literature and the Language and Literature courses consist of 2 final exam papers: an unseen paper[2], and a paper featuring questions on studied texts[3].

For Language B, the Paper 1 mainly tests the student’s reading comprehension skills, and Paper 2 tests the student’s ability to follow written text type conventions.

How to Score 6-7

In Language A for both papers, students must remember to discuss the impacts and effects of choices made by the authors of the pieces being examined, and refrain from simply explaining what the reader can already see.

In Language B, students must have a keen awareness of various text type conventions, and be able to write about their knowledge of the core and optional topics fluently.

Teachers at CANA will work on improving the structuring of response, while using ‘roadmaps’ to develop better organisation of information. Our guidance assists students by giving them methods to communicate complex ideas in a logical and coherent manner. Across all areas of assessment, both internal (IOC, IOP) and external (Paper 1, Paper 2, Written Task), organising ideas clearly is key to accessing the higher marks.

[1] Individual Oral Commentary & Individual Oral Presentation

[2] Paper 1 is unseen and intended to test students application and knowledge of literary skills acquired in the course

[3] Paper 2 tests the understanding of and ability to critically analyse the literature that has been more closely studied in class

Our IB English Tutors


The IB was tough and grueling program, but I credit my peers, teachers and the wonderful tutors at Cana for providing a challenging and fulfilling environment for me to learn. Cana tutors are not only knowledgeable in their fields but also approachable; willing and able to answer any questions I had on hand. Overall, I'm really happy with completing the IB and I can definitely say that the feeling of accomplishment after receiving my score made all the hard work worth it.

Eunice Canadian International School, 45/45 in IBDP